Prime Minister Hon James Marape MP unveiled the billboard for the Somare Peace & Unity Park in Port Moresby this morning.
It will be constructed at the vacant block of land at Independence Boulevard opposite National Parliament at Waigani in Port Moresby.
Present were Dulciana and Arthur Somare, National Capital District Governor Hon. Powes Parkop, Moresby North-East MP Hon. John Kaupa, Lands and Physical Planning Minister Hon. John Rosso, City Manager Bernard Kipit and Commissioners of the National Capital District Commission.
PM Marape thanked Governor Parkop, National Museum and Art Gallery and Lands and Physical Department for making available the land.
The Somare Foundation has been tasked by Government to undertake this project, as well as another in Sir Michael's hometown of Wewak.
PM Marape said the Somare Peace & Unity Park would be an institution celebrating the life of our Founding Father for generations to come.
“At the National Government level, we are all in total support of what wil be the continuity of the Somare influence in our country going forward into the future, " PM Marape said.
"So I do acknowledge all of you who are here, and I do thank my brother and sister Arthur and Dulciana (Somare) for coming here."
PM Marape said unveiling of the Park signals a body of activities that would" ensure Somare lives on in the psyche, the mindset, our public policy space and the national character".
"Even in his passing, he lives on going into the future," he said.
"Somare is PNG and PNG is Somare, they are synonymous.
"In 1968, as I was saying during his funeral programmes, he bulldozed everything in front of him in seven years.
"His entry into Parliament was in 1968 and by 1975 we were politically independent.
"From then in, he marched on into ensuring that our country remained united.
"There can be no greater evidence than his passing, when the country came together in total unity.
"Unity in our country is personified in the late Grand Chief and his influence on our country.
"We want to construct a future in which the Father of the Nation is still speaking to the nation, even when he's rested. "
PM Marape said he envisaged a park with a library, a monument, and a place to see the history of Sir Michael and PNG.
He said it would impact upon neighbouring Parliament and the Judiciary, businesses in Waigani and PNG, and the Executive arm of Government.
"Though a thousand tribes we may be, we still remain united under one Flag, one Constitution, one people - the ideals that Somare stood for," PM Marape said.
"Upon his death, it was clearly evident that the country came together in total unity."
PM Marape said the Somare Foundation started by Sir Michael would be revived,so that he, even in passing, would be a beacon for the future.
"I look forward to associating myself with the Somare Foundation, with the NCD and City Hall, for this place," he said.
PM Marape said apart from this park, other monuments would be established around the country, to honor Sir Michael.
"The entire arm of the Executive Government looks forward to ensuring that this unveiling gives rise to creation of many monuments, many institutions, especially those that rotate around the Somare Foundation, for Grand Chief to speak on to us even in his passing," he said.
PM Marape said this included a National Unity Pillar to be mounted by the PNG Council of Churches along Waigani Drive.
He said space would also be created for other former Prime Ministers on the other side of the Boulevard, which would become a public precinct.
PM Marape said K3 million had been allocated by Cabinet for the Somare Foundation last year, and K2 million for Sir Michael's planned national tour, which did not eventutate due to COVID-19 and his passing.